The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127N turboprop to power the ATR 72-600. The PW127N offers 4.5 percent more takeoff power for better hot-and-high performance. Plans call for the PW127N to progressively roll into Avianca’s ATR fleet throughout this year and next. ATR expects to deliver the first Avianca ATR 72-600 equipped with the new engines “in the coming weeks,” allowing the airline to benefit from better takeoff performance at high-altitude airports such as its hub in Bogota, Colombia.
News and issues relating specifically to regional airlines, including aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training; and coverage of annual conventions of the U.S. Regional Airline Association (RAA) and European Regions Airline Association (ERA).
Bombardier Aerospace delivered the first “enhanced” CRJ900 to American Airlines regional subsidiary PSA Airlines on June 5. Based in Dayton, Ohio, PSA plans to start operating the jet under the American Eagle brand “later this summer.” Formerly a US Airways Express subsidiary, it now flies 35 CRJ200s and 14 CRJ700s primarily out of Charlotte, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
Flybe Finland has agreed to open new routes this summer from Helsinki to the Russian destinations of Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Kazan on behalf of Finnair with Embraer E190s. Service to Nizhny Novgorod International Airport begins on July 25, flights to Samara’s Kurumoch International Airport start on August 7 and operations to Kazan International Airport commence on August 18. Plans call for flights to run three times per week on all three routes.
Mitsubishi Aircraft took delivery early last month of its first Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1200G geared turbofan at the Mitsubishi Regional Jet’s (MRJ) final-assembly factory in Aichi Prefecture, Japan. Delivery of the engine from Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Quebec marks a major milestone toward final assembly of the first MRJ90 flight-test aircraft, which Mitsubishi expects to fly during next year’s second quarter.
The ATR Assembly of Members has appointed Patrick de Castelbajac, 43, CEO of ATR. He succeeds Filippo Bagnato, whose four-year mandate according to ATR’s statutes expired at the end of May.
The first Sukhoi Superjet 100 destined for the new regional division of Russia’s UTair rolled out of its paint hangar at Spektr-Avia in Ulyanovsk, Russia, on May 29. Scheduled for delivery to UTair Express by early this month, the airplane features a special livery developed by UTair Group and Sukhoi Civil Aircraft. Featuring bright folk patterns in the traditional Russian style, the paint job took more than 120 gallons of enamel and 3,600 feet of stencil to complete.
Delta Air Lines plans to establish a new pilot hiring protocol at wholly owned Minneapolis-based regional subsidiary Endeavor Air that effectively matches the standards at the mainline and guarantees every new Endeavor pilot a future hiring “commitment” at Delta without the need to go through another interview process, the airlines announced Monday.
While ATR and Bombardier continue to vacillate over plans to introduce a new 90-seat turboprop, Pratt & Whitney Canada keeps moving forward with an engine it believes will deliver a 20-percent fuel burn improvement over existing engines in the 5,000- to 7,000-shp range by the turn of the decade. Dubbed the Next Generation Regional Turboprop (NGRT), the engine would feature an all-new compressor, a miniaturized version of Pratt & Whitney’s patented Talon combustor and likely an eight-blade propeller
Seemingly bucking the trend suffered by most of the rest of the regional airline industry, Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has managed to attract a fair share of qualified pilots to accommodate its seemingly unlikely growth. But while speaking Wednesday at this year’s Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, CEO Jonathan Ornstein made certain to ensure no one came away from the briefing with any doubt about his position on the new legislation that requires new hire first officers to carry an air transport pilot certificate.
Cheyenne, Wyoming-based Great Lakes Airlines perhaps has felt the effects of the industry’s failure to attract new pilots as much as any member of the Regional Airline